INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Sitar Forum: My new sitar!

 

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andowe
My new sitar! Feb 05, 2004 09:29 p.m.


In early January I received my new Mangla Prasad Sharma Rose Petal sitar from Lars at sitarsetc.com. I�ve been playing bass guitar as a semi-pro here in New York City for decades (my site: www.andylowemusic.com). I�ve always loved ICM but never imagined myself playing - until simply being inspired only just recently. Now I own a sitar��. Or maybe it owns me ��hmmm�.
First I had shoped around some on the internet. I and my instructor hunted/asked/eBayed (yikes!!!) around for a couple months. I contacted Lars because I got a good vibe from his site. He was friendly and informative and after talking for just a few minutes I just went ahead and ordered a Shristi Standard. The Standard got delayed in shipping from India so we talked things over and changed the order to the MPS he had in stock. Lars emailed me some pictures and I was psyched. You can see my sitar on his site.
The top tumba was shipped separately and arrived about a week before the sitar. I opened the box, tunneled through the packing crap, and found it wrapped in a blue OM tapestry. I took one look at that decorated gourd sitting there on the OM tapestry and was like �whew! this is sooo cool!� It was an exciting harbinger of good things to come. I knew I had made the right choice. The unexpected OM was also a pleasant surprise and now I use the tapestry to sit on in my sacred practice space while connected to the infinite.
Yeah ok, so anyway, the sitar finally shows up on like the coldest friggen day. I wrestled with this big box full of packing crap and get the case out (yes the case had to be black cause this is NYC!!!) The case feels like ice and I�m afraid to open it. I let it warm up for a bit, while I clean up all the styrofoam packing crap, and then open it. I was stunned with how breathtaking the MPS was. And bummed at how frozen it was. So I decided to just admire it and let it sit there in the case overnight to warm up before tuning it.
Next morning I was up early. Actually, even though it was in shock from the shipping ordeal, it sounded and played well from the beginning -after lots of tuning, of course. It took a while for it to stay in tune for any length of playing time and a couple of days for the tone to fully emerge. Lars did a fine job of setting it up. Now it sounds great and stays in tune for a couple days.
From a distance or near by it I think it really looks very beautiful. Under close examination it does have that hand made in the third world vibe. Oh well, that�s the charm of a sitar from Calcutta.

Now I have a good sitar, an experienced instructor and a new friend in Lars. So now all I have to do is learn to play ICM. In this lifetime???
Alan
Re:My new sitar! Feb 05, 2004 11:59 p.m.



andowe (Feb 05, 2004 09:29 p.m.):
In early January I received my new Mangla Prasad Sharma Rose Petal sitar from Lars at sitarsetc.com. I�ve been playing bass guitar as a semi-pro here in New York City for decades (my site: www.andylowemusic.com). I�ve always loved ICM but never imagined myself playing - until simply being inspired only just recently. Now I own a sitar��. Or maybe it owns me ��hmmm�.
First I had shoped around some on the internet. I and my instructor hunted/asked/eBayed (yikes!!!) around for a couple months. I contacted Lars because I got a good vibe from his site. He was friendly and informative and after talking for just a few minutes I just went ahead and ordered a Shristi Standard. The Standard got delayed in shipping from India so we talked things over and changed the order to the MPS he had in stock. Lars emailed me some pictures and I was psyched. You can see my sitar on his site.
The top tumba was shipped separately and arrived about a week before the sitar. I opened the box, tunneled through the packing crap, and found it wrapped in a blue OM tapestry. I took one look at that decorated gourd sitting there on the OM tapestry and was like �whew! this is sooo cool!� It was an exciting harbinger of good things to come. I knew I had made the right choice. The unexpected OM was also a pleasant surprise and now I use the tapestry to sit on in my sacred practice space while connected to the infinite.
Yeah ok, so anyway, the sitar finally shows up on like the coldest friggen day. I wrestled with this big box full of packing crap and get the case out (yes the case had to be black cause this is NYC!!!) The case feels like ice and I�m afraid to open it. I let it warm up for a bit, while I clean up all the styrofoam packing crap, and then open it. I was stunned with how breathtaking the MPS was. And bummed at how frozen it was. So I decided to just admire it and let it sit there in the case overnight to warm up before tuning it.
Next morning I was up early. Actually, even though it was in shock from the shipping ordeal, it sounded and played well from the beginning -after lots of tuning, of course. It took a while for it to stay in tune for any length of playing time and a couple of days for the tone to fully emerge. Lars did a fine job of setting it up. Now it sounds great and stays in tune for a couple days.
From a distance or near by it I think it really looks very beautiful. Under close examination it does have that hand made in the third world vibe. Oh well, that�s the charm of a sitar from Calcutta.

Now I have a good sitar, an experienced instructor and a new friend in Lars. So now all I have to do is learn to play ICM. In this lifetime???

i just bought the teak MPS lars has pictured on his site cant wait to see up close , the photos are awesome ,
andowe
Re:My new sitar! Feb 06, 2004 11:46 p.m.


Hi Alan, I saw the pictures of the teak MPS: awesome!!! I bet you can't wait till you open the case and see it for real.

peace,
Andy

Alan
Re:My new sitar! Feb 06, 2004 11:49 p.m.



andowe (Feb 06, 2004 11:46 p.m.):
Hi Alan, I saw the pictures of the teak MPS: awesome!!! I bet you can't wait till you open the case and see it for real.

peace,
Andy


lars emailed me an said he hopes to ship the MPS teak saturday ,an i couldnt help ordering some strings an another book to ,

Matt
Re:My new sitar! Feb 07, 2004 09:55 a.m.


Hey Andy,
Congratulations on the new sitar and welcome to the forum. Nice to see a fellow bass man here. There seems to be something that brings bass players to the sitar - mabye it's the fact that we play single lines so much, or maybe we're secretly hoping to be up front playing lead...
Jeff
Re:My new sitar! Feb 07, 2004 06:29 p.m.



Matt (Feb 07, 2004 09:55 a.m.):
Hey Andy,
Congratulations on the new sitar and welcome to the forum. Nice to see a fellow bass man here. There seems to be something that brings bass players to the sitar - mabye it's the fact that we play single lines so much, or maybe we're secretly hoping to be up front playing lead...

Or maybe its because Bass players are usally "demoted" guitar players!

Just kidding!

tarsi
Re:My new sitar! Feb 08, 2004 08:54 a.m.


I dont think that bass players are "demoted" - maybe they just have more power in their fingers:-)
JUst wondering why bass players dont go for surbahars?
Remco
Re:My new sitar! Feb 08, 2004 05:37 p.m.


Errrrr.....I came through the bassguitar....through Chapman Stick to sitar....and guess what....
I'm waiting for a surbahar to arrive.....

So you weren't THAT far off the mark

Peace,

Remco

Matt
Re:My new sitar! Feb 08, 2004 06:06 p.m.


No kidding, Remco? That should be cool. I don't even know where I'd put something that big!
Stephen
Re:My new sitar! Feb 08, 2004 09:50 p.m.


Yep, I had to sell my Volvo sedan (which I hated to do as that car rocked) and get a Volvo wagon just to be able to transport the surbahar to lessons. A surbahar, in it's case, is a big package. But the size of the instrument agreed with me physically more than sitar (which is MPS Rose Petal #001). I don't play the MPS much anymore, although it is a nice sounding instrument.
Remco
Re:My new sitar! Feb 09, 2004 10:50 a.m.


I really had a lot (A LOT) of problems shipping the instrument to me. The owner lives in Germany and to send it to Holland gave a lot of sorting out to do, since the Dutch Postal Service doesn't handle items that big. So I have to ship it via another route. It will take two weeks before it arrives
On the other hand...I;ve got something to look out for.

Peace,

Remco

Jaym
Re:My new sitar! Feb 09, 2004 12:27 p.m.


Just want to give a shout out to fellow bass players! Honestly, I don't touch the electric or upright unless I have a gig. All I care about is playing and learning sitar. I also got a shrishti standard from Lars. Great instrument but I desparately want a quality VK style sitar.

By the way, I had zero desire to play guitar!!

Jeff
Re:My new sitar! Feb 09, 2004 01:44 p.m.


I was just "KIDDING" about the bass player comment fellas. I play a little bass myself.
I wish more people played bass, Its very hard to find a good bass player. Most "Rock" people only want to play the guitar or drums.
I play several types of instruments, though hardly a master on any of them and there's many more I'd lke to take up.
Right now I'm on my Mountain Dulcimer phase but I am playing the 12 string again after about a year of not touching it. I play electric guitar every Friday night in a punk-rock-blues-slop??? band that really kind of sucks. I pick up the didgeridoo every now and then but not often because I started smoking again.
I played the sitar the other night but havent really touched that in a few months. Probably get back into that this spring.

I would like to get a Surbahar or Sarode or even an open back banjo, but every time I get some money up the taxes are due or some other bill has to be payed. But I always seem to be broke in the winter time, things'll pick up in the summer!

Whelp,,, I'm done ramblin for now.

andowe
Re:My new sitar! Feb 09, 2004 11:45 p.m.


Matt - Greetings, thank you for the kind words of welcome. Good to hear from all fellow bass players/sitarists. I can�t say for sure exactly what draws me to sitar after playing bass for so long. I�ve always loved ICM and especially sitar. For me, a meaningful component is the meditative head space that�s so characteristic of ICM.
I�m certain that studying sitar is like cross training for playing bass. In just a couple of months it has changed/improved the way I hear and solo on bass. I�ll post some newly recorded bass jazz solos on my site soon as I get together with my web guy. If you�re interested in my attempt at up front bass playing, check out �Buffalo� or �Sunday Jam� or other tunes on my web site.
Remco - speaking of web sites and meditative head space, you rule the ambient environs. I listened to your Real files in order and by the time I arrived at �Meditation 47� I was in the zone. Had to listen to it over and over. Thank you. Good luck with the shipping situation and let us know when you get your surbahar.
Tarsi � yo! man right on power to the fingers ; ) Maybe modern bassists played surbahar in a former life. Actually, the idea of playing surbahar along with a sitar player in a duo setting intrigues me.
Stephen � How much bigger is a surbahar? What brand do you have? We have the same model sitars, how would you compare the subahar? You know, things like pitch, tuning, length, and distance between frets.
Jaym- what is your Shristi like? That�s what I originally ordered but I got impatient so I sprung for the MPS. Something tells me you don�t play a lot of paying gigs in NYC where there�s a cat on every corner just waiting to grab your job ; ) Seriously, I am becoming rather compulsive about practicing the sitar.
Jeff � I got a didge and a dulcimer also. The dulcimer is very cool but just a tease for the sitar. Quit smoking (tobacco) and spend the money on instruments!!! You called it bro, I was indeed �demoted�. At age 14 the older kids said I could be in their band but only if I played bass. I said sure and never looked back. My only regret is that I didn�t pick up the SITAR sooner. But now is the time!!
peace love light
Andy
Remco
Re:My new sitar! Feb 10, 2004 05:16 a.m.


Hi Andy,
Thanx for the kind words. Ispend a long time looking for a surbahar. I've always felt attracted to this instrument and it's slow, droney music because of my ambient background.
To see how big it is:
http://classics.nu/surbahar.html

Peace,

Remco

Jaym
Re:My new sitar! Feb 10, 2004 10:33 a.m.


Andowe-My Shrishti is great. Plays very well, jawari is a a bit too open for my taste. It is decorative enough and has a nice thick jawari and quality parts. My teacher and I restrung it with good steel and brass and it gets great response from the tarbs. Lars does treat his instruments w/ TLC before shipping which was a big plus.

I want to sell it though because I am more interested in playing a VK model. Interested??

I am actually in Boston and fortunately have enough gigs a month that I can still consider myself a bass player =)

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